Rahm admits: "I've changed the world of golf”

As he usually does when the Christmas season arrives and thanks to the fact that the calendar gives him a break, Jon Rahm is in his homeland before facing a new year

by Andrea Gussoni
Rahm admits: "I've changed the world of golf”
© Getty Images Sport - Ross Kinnaird / Stringer

Following the custom that takes him back to his homeland every Christmas and taking advantage of a break in his calendar, Jon Rahm has returned once again. However, this time everything is different. He lands in the middle of an earthquake caused by his impressive signing to the Saudi league, despite having expressed reluctance about it in the past.

But his four-year, $500 million salary has led to a change in his beliefs. The Barrika native acknowledges having "strict instructions not to carry out public events after this week in which I have changed the world of golf." Despite his great success, Rahm remains humble, stating that he is a normal person and that he does not consider his actions to be more important than those of others.

His face simply appears on television. However, this could change in the future, although the golfer is cautious about this. When asked if he will give interviews, Rahm is blunt: "No." And he explains it later: "At least until February, because they don't allow it." This has been Rahm's only reference to his historic signing for the LIV, all with a serious and professional tone.

Jon Rahm, statements

The PGA Tour, the American golf circuit, suspended Rahm yesterday due to his "association with a series of unauthorized tournaments." Despite this, the Basque golfer has a busy schedule these days, as he will participate in the closing events of Athletic's 125th anniversary on Saturday.

Today, Rahm has been honored with the 'Dama Bilbaína 2023' award by the Bilbao Society, a distinction that is awarded for his exceptional sporting career. This award is the highest distinction granted by the Bilbao private club and has been previously awarded to notable institutions and personalities.

Among them are Athletic, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, the School of Engineers, the Holy and Royal House of Mercy of Bilbao and the University of Deusto, as well as prominent figures in their professional fields. Present at the event were the president of the Spanish Golf Federation, Gonzaga Escauriaza, the former mayor of Bilbao Ibon Areso and José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, president of CaixaBank.

The Bilbao Society grants this award to recognize his "notable and fruitful" career in his respective fields of activity. Rahm was honored to be one of the few recipients of this award, suggesting that he has accomplished something special in his career.

Before offering a few words of gratitude, the outstanding athlete Jon Rahm received from the president of the Bilbao Society, Juan Ignacio Goiria, the award designed by the renowned sculptor José Ramón Nazábal in 1995.

This young man has lived in 2023 his best sporting year and has established himself as one of the best golfers in the world, demonstrating his skill in competitions such as the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the American Express - where he achieved a historic 27 under par -, the Genesis Invitational and the Augusta Masters , where he became the fourth Spaniard to win this prestigious tournament.

Furthermore, his leadership during the 2023 Ryder Cup contributed significantly to the European team's victory. But not only has he been recognized for his ability on the field, but also for his dedication to charity work and his role as an ambassador for his sport internationally.

At the ceremony, his father was present, who was wearing a sling, and later, during the meal, Jon Rahm went around each table to take photos with the attendees. Rahm, as he himself has admitted, improvised his words upon receiving the prestigious award that was given to him.

He was surprised by the great expectation generated and, at the same time, excited to receive such recognition in his homeland. "I thought this event would be more intimate. I did not expect there to be cameras present. However, once one knows the importance of the Bilbao Society and what it represents, it is understandable that it has taken on this magnitude.

With more than a thousand members, it seems to me surprising not to see 5,000 people here," the athlete joked. For Rahm, representing his city and his community as an athlete is a great honor. "I consider myself one more, a golfer who explains the wonders of Euskadi to all those who listen to me.

I am a little excited because for me the most important thing is the legacy that I am going to leave as a person, more than as an athlete."

Jon Rahm